Southside Shuffle Blues & Jazz Festival ~ September 6th to 9th
By: Patricia Bandurka
“Now this is what blues music is about y’all. We can chase the rain away!” shouted drummer Derrick D’Mar Martin after a rousing performance at last year’s Tim Horton’s Southside Shuffle. “Straight from Mississippi” added his music partner Chris Gill. Chase the rain away? Damn! Should have found these guys sooner. It might have made this summer a little more enjoyable.
To those who have been looking to fill the blues music void, you don’t have to travel to Mississippi to take in the authentic sounds of the Delta Blues because in my opinion, the Southside Shuffle does a pretty darn good job of bringing a taste of the Deep South north of the border. Although I can see myself cruising Highway 61 (The Blues Highway) maybe this fall, top down on the convertible, unseen wind blowing through my hair, listening to B.B. King dropping a few licks with his guitar Lucille. Won’t be too long before I can cross that one off my bucket list.
September 6th – 9th is the weekend of Canada’s largest Blues Festival. The Southside Shuffle takes place in Port Credit and this is the place where “Mississippi meets Mississauga.” The sounds of the blues fill the air for what’s sure to be one amazing weekend. Straight from the Delta (well maybe not all of them) D’Mar & Gill, Dexter Allen and Terry Harmonica Bean are just a few of the Mississippians who will bring the Blues to life in a unique yet traditional way. Trust me when I say their show is one you just can’t miss. Check out this video courtesy of the Mississippi Queen – who will also be serving up a bevy of Mississippi cuisine a fan favorite at the event for years. She will be serving up southern style Catfish, jambalaya, and so much more. I bet you’re getting hungry right now just thinking about it. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=92iZgiCNUyo
All of the guys will no doubt have folks dancing out their seats by showcasing their Mississippi mojo as well as their own mix of rhythm and funky grooves. If you watched the video – spoiler alert– then you know about D’Mar’s talent for using any object possible to drop a solid blues beat. As someone who played drums in high school, I can honestly say that I wish I had him as my instructor. Here’s hoping I can learn a thing or two during the weekend.
Dexter Allen brings his blend of traditional blues with soul, funk, and gospel. Allen is regarded as one of the best 21st century blues performers out of the Magnolia State. Oh and before I forget, Allen brings his Jimi Hendrix artistry to life by playing some of his songs with his teeth. Don’t believe me? Take a look at picture on the right!
It is an all-star line-up for the weekend that includes the Legendary Downchild Blues Band, whose lead singer just happens to be festival organizer Chuck Jackson, Mitch Ryder and His Detroit Wheels, Jack De Keyzer, Steve Strongman, Suzie Vinnick and many more.
Suzie, in case you did not know, was the voice behind the “Always Fresh, Always Time Hortons” for a number of years and has been referred to as Canada’s version of Bonnie Raitt. While this story is about the boys, they aren’t the only ones that know how to put on a show. The ladies know a thing or two about singing the blues too!
One of Canada’s up and comers is a jazzy blues kind of a girl with a big sultry voice. Irene Torres& The Sugar Devils will be at the Brogue Inn (corner of Lakeshore and Hwy 10) on September 7th at 9:30 p.m.
Speaking of sultry voices, you can also catch another of Canada’s young, up and coming female sensations, Andria Simone. She will be hanging out with the DAWG FM/ Mississippi crews and you will likely catch her at their VIP area.
The Shuffle officially kicks off Friday September 6 at 6 PM. Tickets are $5 per day and $10 for the weekend. Believe me when I say that one day won’t be enough! So make sure you bring a chair and your dancing shoes because the entire all-star line-up will have you swing’n and sway’n! For more information and a complete list of performers for the entire weekend, visit firstname.lastname@example.org.
So, what happens when you put 30 bands on Lakeshore Blvd. along with thousands of Blues fans? The biggest street party that you have ever attended breaks out that’s what! The downtown core of Port Credit is jammed with people of all ages literally dancing, shimmying, and shaking in the streets. Even Mayor Hazel will be there and she knows how to bust a move!
Need more Blues in your blood? The following weekend a number of these talented musicians will be in Wasaga Beach. Already known as a place to catch waves and rays, the area is quickly growing into one of the best blues festivals in Ontario. In its third year, The Wasaga Beach Blues Festival begins Friday, September 13th at 7 PM and goes through the weekend. The festival provides the sweet sounds of the blues at the Stonebridge Town Centre with music, laughter and dancing. Best of all it is FREE to attend. www.wasagabeachblues.com
Other than the Mississippi Boys the line-up for Wasaga includes Chuck Jackson and the Big Bad Blues Revue a tribute to Joe Turner, Downchild Blues Band, Jack De Keyzer and that sultry Irene Torres.
If you’re a blues aficionado there is no shortage of music for you to enjoy, The Tim Hortons Southside Shuffle and The Wasaga Beach Blues Festival might just be the place where you ‘Find Your True South’.
Until you get there of course! www.visitmississippi.org
Let’s not forget about Canada’s premier blues band, Downchild. To this day, the band is credited for the success of blues music in Canada. The band will get the party started on Thursday night at the Port Credit Legion for the Beggars & Blues Banquet. Lead singer and festival organizer, Chuck Jackson always puts on a great show! This event is pretty much crème de la crème for blues enthusiasts and should not be missed! D’Mar & Gill, Dexter Allen, and Nalle and his Crazy Ivans will also perform. Don’t forget the food! Guests of the event can expect Mississippi fixings such as pulled pork, catfish, jambalaya, and so much more. I bet you’re getting hungry right now just thinking about it. The party starts September 5th at 7p.m and the event sells out fast! If I were you, I’d call in sick to work the next day! For more details and seating availability contact email@example.com.The Shuffle officially kicks off Friday. Tickets are $5 per day and $10 for the weekend. Believe me when I say that one day won’t be enough! So make sure you bring a chair and your dancing shoes because the boys will get you into a bluesy kind of mood!